Indonesia: Muslim protestors pelt US Embassy

About 400 hardline Muslim protestors attacked the US Embassy in Jakarta with rocks, tomatoes and eggs, claiming that the United States was on a mission to destroy Islam. In speeches, members of the Islamic Defenders Front, a Muslim vigilante group, said that US President George W. Bush had supported the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in European newspapers. "They (Western countries) want to destroy Islam through the issue of terrorism ... and all those things are engineered by the United States," said Maksuni, a protest organizer who only uses one name. Protestors tried to storm the embassy's fortified gates at about 12:15 p.m local time, shouting anti-American slogans and brandishing wooden staves and bamboo poles. They then set fire to US flags and a poster of President Bush, and smashed the windows of a guard outpost before dispersing after a few minutes. No injuries were reported. US Ambassador to Indonesia B. Lynn Pascoe condemned the violence. "This was a premeditated event that was staged for television by a small group which seeks to disrupt the relationship between the United States and Indonesia," he said.